New project to increase the success of Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technologists entering the Canadian labour market

April 19, 2021
(HAMILTON, ON) The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is pleased to announce the launch of a new project, Workplace Integrated Learning Pilot for IEMLTS. The project aims to create increased opportunities for Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technologists (IEMLTs) to access clinical placements, resulting in positive employment outcomes. This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

Every year, approximately 200 laboratory professionals apply to the CSMLS to begin the process of certification, ultimately seeking licensure and employment in the Canadian labour market.  However, about 90% of all applicants do not meet Canadian standards immediately.

Recent research suggests that IEMLTs with exposure to the Canadian clinical environment fare better on the CSMLS certification exam and are more likely to secure meaningful employment once licensed.   The scarcity of clinical placements in Canada leaves these IEMLTs to address their experience and education gaps through coursework alone. 

“Medical Laboratory Technologists are an often unseen yet vital part of Canada’s healthcare system,” explains Joel Rivero, President of CSMLS’s Board of Directors. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Canada’s nationwide shortage of this important healthcare profession and better integration of internationally trained MLTs is one avenue of combatting this shortage.”

The pilot project will see collaboration between employers, regulators and the certification body to development of a model, methodology and costing for integrating skilled immigrants into the workforce. In addition, 10-12 IEMLTs will have to opportunity to participate, increasing their likelihood of attaining full-time employment in their field.

“Our government believes in ensuring newcomers have the support they need to find employment and develop their skills. This new Workplace Integrated Learning Pilot will help newcomers in the healthcare profession find good jobs faster and support a strong economic recovery after the pandemic subsides.” - Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“An important lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is that Canada and every province needs to address its supply of medical laboratory technologists or suffer testing delays in times of crisis,” says Christine Nielsen, CSMLS Chief Executive Officer. “Investment in our academic programs and integration supports for foreign trained professionals are desperately needed. This project is a great start in this direction.”
The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science is the national certifying body for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional society for Canada’s medical laboratory professionals. Incorporated in 1937 as the Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists, the society has over 13,700 members in Canada and in countries around the world.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement : We respectfully acknowledge the CSMLS office, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is situated upon the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga Nation, Anishinaabe Peoples, and the Neutral Peoples. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum, which is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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